First Whisperings of Autumn

Herb, squash and potato jungle

It is the first week of Autumn here in the southern hemisphere. We had a mini heatwave, but now the crisp mornings and deep clear blue skies of autumn are here. The garden has turned into a feral jungle, due to me ignoring it completely all summer except to water. I am nothing if not an inconsistent gardener. However, it is a gloriously productive feral jungle, with food bursting out all over the place. The first whisperings of autumn always call me back to the garden, as I suddenly wake up from my summer haze and think, "Oh, my goodness, what has been going on here? Order! I must have order! And a plan." And probably the garden is laughing at me, because I believe I am in charge of the garden..

Rocket, chard and chilli jungle

Feral tomatoes

Garden mystery. Is it a cape gooseberry or a ground cherry? It popped up out of nowhere.

This morning I imposed a patch of order on the chaos. The garden is still laughing at me..


fran7narf said…
You have autumn in town?! We have hardly noticed the change as it has been pretty much spring, summer and autumn all blended into one. Your feral tomatoes are much better than our planted ones but we did start late. That's a cape gooseberry aka a ground cherry. Once you have one, you won't ever be without them especially if you have chooks. Let them ripen and fall to the ground when they have the best flavour. Note to self, "get thee some pea straw". I am loath to pay the $10 a bale but keep telling myself it will go a long way. The mornings are still a bit too warm to even entertain the thought of igniting Brunhilda and we are supposed to be getting this kind of weather for our autumnal duration this year so hopefully all of those late tomatoes should ripen and that poor solitary little eggplant that has just decided that it might like to grow will get a chance to get at least a bit bigger. I am all for the underdog here. We haven't even started chainsawing the logs at the front gate and they have been there since last April! Time to galvanise ourselves into action methinks.
Jo said…
It's the sky that always alerts me to the beginning of autumn. It changes to a deeper blue and takes on a translucent quality.. or maybe I'm imagining it. Just humour me. Also there's a bird. I don't know what it is or what it looks like, but every year it starts calling, and that reminds me that it's autumn. Funny, I don't hear it any other time of the year.. It is way too hot, but then I think that most years in March. Summer is Not My Season.

Autumn, however, galvanises me into action, so here's to all those gardening jobs we have left undone:)
Anonymous said…
I love Autumn in Tassie. My joie de vivre gets a reboot and my mind turns to my garden again. Lovely tomato crop you've got there too.
Regards, Specks
Jo said…
Specks, love, love, love Autumn. Love the cooler days, the leaves, the deep blue skies, and of course, my birthday:)
GretchenJoanna said…
I always loved my garden at this point because it looked so - um - successful! Yes, that's it... I'm sure your garden is laughing *with* you, Jo, because it loves how you gave it its start, and maybe its independence too! And yours has a beautiful laugh. I can almost hear it from here.
Meg said…
Still Summery days here in Brisbane, Jo. Though the mornings are a little cooler. Love tangled, do-as-they-please gardens. Amazing how much things can grow on a little neglect! Meg:)
Fernglade Farm said…
Hi Jo,

The mini heatwave is lingering here, which to be honest is not a bad thing as the cantaloupe may yet ripen (fingers crossed). Despite your protestations to the contrary, your garden is looking lovely and the herbs and vegetables are doing well in a feral mess of plants (the best way to garden really - mostly down here they look after themselves)! Oh, the plant in question looks to me like a Cape Gooseberry. Hopefully the little berries inside the paper thin coatings are orange? If they are green wait a week or so until they turn orange. They taste a bit soapy at first like a Kangaroo apple (they're in the same family of plants) but then a really nice flavour kicks in. I like the taste of them and the plant can be hacked back to a small stump for over winter and it will regrow the following spring! It is a very considerate plant to do that trick.

I was wondering if that was pea straw on the ground as a mulch?

Jo said…
Gretchen Joanna, yes, 'successful' is the right word. All the food and growth and going to seed and greenery. Who needs to be able to find the paths anyway?

Meg, still summery here too, with just a touch of autumn in the mornings. In my opinion summer goes on for about six weeks too long..

Chris, the paper coatings on my gooseberries are still so thick and green that I can't see inside, so I am thinking a few weeks yet. Thanks for the advice re overwintering them - I didn't know they did that.

Yes, pea straw mulch is what I use all over the garden. Plenty of it about, most of the local farmers have a crop of peas in over the spring, although the sensible ones leave the pea straw in the fields to mulch the next crop. Some of my farmer friends did the experiment and discovered that the crop planted in the pea straw mulch did so much better that it more than compensated for the loss of income from selling the pea straw..

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